The staggering cost of Israel's defense against Iran's missile attack: '4-5 billion shekels per night'

Brig. Gen. Reem Aminoach, economic advisor to former IDF chief of staff, tells the Ynet studio about the high cost of activating the defense systems in Israel overnight, and the relatively low price paid by Iran

Iran's massive missile attack overnight between Saturday and Sunday on Israel was stopped by Israel's sophisticated defense systems. It obviously costs a lot of money, and the question, among others that arises the next morning, is how much? Brig. Gen. Reem Aminoach, former financial advisor to the IDF chief of staff, tried to estimate. "The defense tonight was on the order of 4-5 billion shekels," he said in a conversation with Ynet studio.
"If we're talking about ballistic missiles that need to be brought down with an Arrow system, cruise missiles that need to be brought down with other missiles, and UAVs, which we actually bring down mainly with airplanes - then add up the costs - $3.5 million for an Arrow missile, $1 million for a David's Sling, such and such costs for airplanes. An order of magnitude of 4-5 billion shekels," he said.
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 מערכת חץ 3
 מערכת חץ 3
Arrow 3 missile defense system
(Photo: Spokesperson and Public Relations Department at the Ministry of Defense)
How significant is it financially? "What is significant is above all the insight that says: 'Let's figure out how much it cost the Iranians.' And you want to be prepared for the number of attacks. So, you have to try to understand what amount of defense we need. Let's say that if the IDF's net budget in 2023 was 60 billion shekels, with less than double that you have no chance of reaching a situation where you are able to maintain the required amounts."
Aminoach also spoke about Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich's decision to postpone ordering new fighter jets from the U.S.
"Currently the Treasury, for its own reasons, is holding up ordering planes from the U.S., using American money in the form of aid dollars and we are talking about planes that are not supposed to be added more to the numbers to existing planes, but only to replace existing planes. Those who try to understand a little bit what the planes did today are not able to understand how they could be ready to retire. It seems that the planes went out to protect, in fact, the opposite of what the interceptors are doing of an Iron Dome that stops the missiles in Israeli territory."
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מטוס F-35 של צבא ארה"ב
מטוס F-35 של צבא ארה"ב
An American F-35 fighter jet
(Photo: REUTERS/Jana Rodenbusch/File Photo)
Is the finance minister harming the security of the country? "I do not deal with political matters and the demands of the treasury. I just want to say this, clearly and sharply - I think that those who did not understand it until tonight, understand it tonight. If you want to stop some of these threats outside the territory of the State of Israel so that they do not even reach here, you need planes. The current planes whose order has been stopped are not enough, three exclamation points. Not enough. In addition to these planes, we must order another considerable number of planes."
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